May is blue and white. May is the month when bluebells thrust their heads above the leaf mould of an English woodland and carpet it with a hazy sea of blue. It’s when forget-me-nots flower in every vacant spot of earth, and wriggle through the cracks in paving stones. It’s when bluish-purple wisteria scrambles across old brickwork, gently waving its blooms in the light spring breeze. It’s when the sky is often reliably and cloudlessly blue on a sunny afternoon.
Ponds at Harlow Carr Gardens, Harrogate.
The River Ure at West Tanfield.
Bluebells at the bottom of the garden.
Wisteria on the wall.
A mallard at Patelety Bridge. Blue head. White tail.
May is hawthorn time. May is lilac time. May sees late-flowering wild garlic give place to bluebells . Daisies take over. White petals from pear, apple and cherry trees swirl gently to the ground. And white woolly lambs play king-of-the-castle and run races in the fields. Round here, sheep-identification markings are blue.
Dead nettles near the river.
Cherry blossom near the pond at North Stainley.
Lilac about to burst into flower.
Daisies. Of course.
There’s plenty of space for yellow too. Anyone spotted any dandelions?
William’s a London child. His commute to nursery passes railway tracks and city streets, as well as a walk through a rather nice park. The animals my grandson sees on his daily round are dogs-on-leads, cats and urban foxes.
We wanted Yorkshire to offer him something different. On his very first afternoon, we visited two-day-old lambs in the field at the end of the road, wobbly on their legs and clinging to their mothers. Later we’d visit older lambs, confidently running and jumping across a public footpath as William wandered among them.
Then it was off to the duck pond. Two Mrs. Moorhens had a chick each, so light that even pond weed could bear their weight: were they walking on water? Mrs. Mallard had eight balls of fluff scuttling from land to pond to rushes – constantly on the move.
The next morning, good friends Gill and David invited us over. There were puppies to pet, dogs and a cat to stroke. And then there was Reggie, their grandson’s very own Thelwell pony. Reggie turned out to be far too scary to ride, but perfectly good to take for a walk.
Then William was put to work, collecting eggs. He didn’t break very many as he dropped them none too gently into his collecting basket. Afterwards he fed the hens. And we went home for scrambled eggs on toast. Thank you William. Thank you Gill, David and the hens.
William’s collecting eggs….
…. and feeding the hens.
Late one afternoon, William and I went for a walk in the woods and saw rabbits, a dozen or more, grazing the grass on the other side of the fence.
I wonder if it was one of them who left the chocolate eggs that William found in the garden when he went hunting for them on Easter Sunday?